How to Capture a Martini -

Manga Review

Mania Grade: C

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  • Art Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translation Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 18 and Up
  • Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
  • MSRP: 12.95
  • Pages: 200
  • ISBN: 978-1569700822
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

How to Capture a Martini

How to Capture a Martini Manga Review

By Briana Lawrence     April 15, 2010
Release Date: January 13, 2010

How to Capture a Martini
© Digital Manga Publishing

Intoxicating title.  Not so intoxicating story

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Makoto Tateno
Translation: Sachiko Sato
Adaptation: Sachiko Sato

What They Say
He was my lover in high school, my upperclassman - beautiful, malicious Shinobu. He was also the one who took away everything, whether it was my first kiss, or my first time! Then, after the graduation ceremony, he completely disappeared. Four years have passed since then, and right when I thought I'd already forgotten all memories about him, he suddenly appears in front of my eyes, more beautiful and charming than ever... Now, even though he's willing to open his body for everyone, the only thing he gives me is his cruel words. But no matter what, I still want to be by his side!

The Review!

A guy walks into a bar...
Lame joke, but that is how the story starts.
Hibino walks into a bar with his girlfriend and sees his old lover, Shinobu, who was his first for everything - kissing, smexing, and alcohol.  Hibino thought that the two of them would be together forever, even going out to buy matching rings for them, but Shinobu left him waiting and disappeared out of his life.  Needless to day, old feelings resurface, but Shinobu is extremely cold to Hibino and wants nothing to do with him.  Shinobu is the type of guy who doesn't do relationships and has a different partner every night, including the bar owner, Katsuragi, who Hibino has the misfortune of seeing with Shinobu.  Depressed, and now drunk, Hibino passes out in front of the bar, his wallet being stolen and in need of money.  This leads to him working at the bar, much to Shinobu's dismay.
Hibino keeps trying to go after Shinobu and even breaks up with his girlfriend (no surprise there).  Shinobu constantly pushes him away, but one day Hibino places the ring he bought all those years ago on his finger, finally giving him the gift he wanted to.  Shinobu still pushes him away, but its made quite clear to the reader that the gift meant a lot to him.  He runs out into the night, letting himself be used by a guy on the street who has a thing for bondage, but is later rescued by Katsuragi who is surprised to see Shinobu in such bad shape.  Meanwhile, Hibino has a talk with his very understanding, now ex-girlfriend, about his feelings on the entire situation.  Hibino confronts Shinobu again and Shinobu finally agrees to sleep with him, but Hibino realizes that he wants more then that and not only declines the offer, but quits working at the bar.
The ring is left at the bar and Katsuragi decides to keep it, saying that Shinobu can have it back if he creates an original drink for the bar.  A quick back story -- Shinobu has a lot of talent when it comes to making drinks, but he doesn't care enough about his job or his life (or anything for that matter) to apply himself to anything.  Hibino goes back to the bar when he realizes that he left the ring there and finds Shinobu at the bar, pretty blitzed, and trying hard to create a new drink so he can win his ring back.  It's here that we find out the truth as to why Shinobu left all those years ago: he meant for their relationship to be a fling, but he soon started developing feelings for the young Hibino.  He was scared that Hibino would eventually regret being with him, especially since Hibino was planning on following Shinobu wherever he went.  Hibino realizes that Shinobu does indeed love him, and the two of them hook up and live happily ever after. 
The manga ends with a side story with Katsuragi and his little brother, Yoshi, who tended to be the slight nudge Hibino needed to go after what he wanted.  It turns out that Katsuragi and Yoshi have a secret relationship together, and the side story is about Yoshi dressing up in various costumes and the two of them pretending that they aren't related.  There's another story after that with hot schoolboys (unrelated to the main plot) who "shed the constraints of their school uniforms" when no one else is around.  The final story is a humorous tale of Hibino thinking that he would be good at stirring drinks, because Shinobu is constantly telling him to "keep stirring him up" in the bedroom and praises his techniques in bed.       
In summary:
Maybe it's just me being tired of the crying ukes who keep fighting for their jerky ex-boyfriends, but I'm not a big fan of this story.  I do believe in not forgetting your first love, and even maybe wanting some closure, but Shinobu actually punches this kid around and he keeps coming back for more.  And not those gentle love taps and passive "giggle giggle stop" moments, but full-blown knock out punches that leave Hinobu bruised up.  And there's also the fact that Shinobu keeps sleeping around whenever he feels like it.  I would feel bad for Hibino, but I don't feel sorry for him at all because not only does he keep going back, but he even dumps his girlfriend for this guy who obviously doesn't want him -- until the last couple of pages of the story, of course, because it turns out that Shinobu accidentally fell in love with what he wanted to be a fling (oops) and got scared and ran off.  That actually made me dislike Shinobu more.  You leave this underclassman standing outside alone because you're scared?  You don't say anything to him?  Four years go by and you beat him up, screw around, and tell him to leave and you STILL manage to get him in the end?!
But what really irks me about this story is Hibino's girlfriend.  She just... how do you not get mad when your boyfriend not only dumps you, but dumps you for a man who treats him like crap?!  She even talks to Hibino later, saying that she doesn't want to see him cry alone when she sees him walking down the street.  Maybe she's a better person then me, but it would take me a long time to be on good speaking terms after all of that.     
Then we get the incest side story.  Now I'm not promoting incest in any way, but I really like how they handled it.  The idea of dressing up in different costumes in an attempt to pretend to not be siblings so you can be together?  I really wish that would've been the main story, because that was way more interesting then the main story.  This story saves the entire manga... a little.  Actually what saves it is the pretty art, because Makoto Tateno is good at the pretty boy being smexed up poses.  


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